Thanks very much, Mr. Chairman.
You have a copy of our pre-budget submission. It recommends four major tax measures that we think would help to encourage investment in productive assets in research and development, new machinery and equipment, new technology, and workplace training, as well as a tax credit that we think would facilitate compliance with regulatory initiatives.
These are extremely important tax measures, we think, particularly for manufacturers and exporters, the leading sector in terms of productivity growth, the leading edge of competitiveness, the group that does 75% of our R and D and that brings 90% of our new products to market. Also, these are important tax measures for encouraging investment, innovation, productivity growth, and economic growth for the Canadian economy as a whole to sustain standards of living and to pay for all of the other social services and public services that Canadians expect and receive.
What I wanted to share with you today very quickly is the analysis upon which our recommendations are based in a series of graphs, one showing the track of business investment in R and D and business investment in new machinery and equipment, but the most important thing here are these graphs on page 2 of the handout.
This really shows the importance of cashflow for business. It's cashflow that drives R and D spending, and it's cashflow that drives investment in new technology. For me, as an economist, if you can see a relationship on a graph...you'd know that it's a very close relationship here, but it's also a very consistent relationship in that businesses and manufacturers in Canada spend a fairly consistent share of their cash in terms of new technology and R and D.
For public policy, if we are going to strengthen that performance, what we have to do is take measures to leave more money in the hands of the companies that are making these investments by boosting cashflow through tax measures that also increase the rate of return and make these investments more attractive. This is the analysis that stands behind our recommendations.
Both myself and Jean-Michel Laurin, who's accompanying me--Jean-Michel is our vice-president of global business issues--would be happy to answer any questions.